VILLAGERS have stepped up their opposition to a proposed housing development on greenbelt land by writing to the Government.

Kingsley Parish Council has taken on the concerns of dozens of residents by writing to Sajid Javid MP, secretary of state for communities and local government, following Cheshire West and Chester Council’s decision to allow the building of 15 affordable houses on land off Higher Heyes Drive.

It believes that the decision goes against the local plan, which CWAC adopted in January 2015, and is urging Mr Javid to call the planning application in for a public inquiry.

Chris Pownall, who spoke in opposition to the development at the CWAC planning meeting it was approved in last month, told the Guardian that ‘Kingsley is not a nimby village’ – but this scheme just isn’t right for residents.

“Five years ago Kingsley Parish Council knew there was a need for affordable housing,” he said.

“It took the initiative of doing a survey to find out what was needed in the village and where. It chose a brownfield site closer to the centre of the village.

“So this is not a nimby village, it is a village that takes the initiative, but this is being ignored.”

Residents’ key concern is the location of the site, which is on greenbelt land, and is a drive away from the centre of Kingsley.

The parish council believes the decision by CWAC to approve the site does not fall into line with the council’s policy regarding the building of affordable homes on greenbelt land, and it is now taking legal advice on the matter.

Mr Pownall added: “Building on greenbelt land should only be done if the village says there is a need for it.

“The village should have the chance to find the most appropriate place for development, and this would not be at the edge of the village where families will drive to visit the shops.”

The planning application was recommended for approval by CWAC officers prior to the meeting on December 5.

In a report issued ahead of the meeting, officers said: "The construction of new buildings in the green belt should be regarded as inappropriate development.

"However, one of the exceptions to this is limited affordable housing for local community needs under policies set out in the local plan."

CWAC added that it conducted a housing needs survey for the site.

Lorraine Davison, who spoke on behalf of developer Lane End Strategic Land, told councillors that the new homes would make ‘a valuable contribution towards the identified housing needs’ of Kingsley.

“It is an accepted position by the council that there is a significant need for affordable homes within the borough,” she said.

“The application was accompanied by a local housing needs survey – the conclusions of which have been endorsed by the council’s housing officers, who recognise the social benefits to the delivery of these new homes.

“Given that Kingsley is surrounded by green belt, the proposed development complies with the adopted local plan as a rural exception site.

“Schemes of this nature have an important role to play in ensuring a balanced distribution of housing across the borough and within settlements.”

Members of CWAC’s planning committee narrowly approved the scheme by six to five.

To view the application in full, search for ‘17/02356/FUL’ on CWAC’s planning website.